Dougherty Co. celebrates new EMS building - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. celebrates new EMS building

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

The people you could call on to save your life in Dougherty County now have a more comfortable place to work.

A new state of the art EMS headquarters officially opened today. It was designed by EMT's for EMTs.

In Dougherty County, EMT's are always on the run. "We are one of the busiest ambulance stations in the state of Georgia in terms of calls per crew," said EMS Director Bobby Tripp.

They average 55 calls a day and that number continues to rise. "We are really growing and getting busier, and the needs for EMS has increased over the years," said Buddy Thomas, a paramedic.

But despite the long hours, lack of sleep and stress they do it because they care, and they want to serve the public. "It is stressful, you see some things you wouldn't want to talk to your kids about and that you wouldn't what others to see. The lord has blessed us to be able to do that so they don't have to," said Thomas.

Now EMTs have a brand new state of the art facility to come back to and relax for a few minutes before they head to the next call. "The extra room has really made a big difference and the ability to serve better and faster has been accompanied by this," said Thomas.

Work started on the 1.7 million dollar SPLOST project last May and Monday county commissioners and other officials were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Dr. Charles Gillespie, known as the grandfather of EMS, presented Director Bobby Tripp with a plaque of the EMT Oath he wrote.

Gillespie started EMS in Georgia and was Dougherty county's first director. He says to see everything come this far, is a dream.

It's a dream for EMT's too. They've gone from cramped quarters, to seven personal bedrooms and private baths. "This station is second to none in Georgia and probably in the country," said Tripp.

After all, they don't just work there they live there too.

EMT's want to remind the public to always pull over to the right hand side when they see an ambulance.

The old EMS headquarters building, which is owned by Phoebe Putney, has been turned back over to the hospital.

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